Brave Ripley woman Glenys Twigg has battled through bowel cancer, skin cancer, debilitating bouts of chemotherapy and the shock death of her brother over the last three years.
Her cancerous tumour even spread to her spleen, which had to be removed, leaving her without an effective immune system.
But relatives and friends say she has remained determined and defiant throughout, and has even continued to foster children with husband Ron.
So, in tribute to her, they have organised a fun fundraising event as part of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning initiative run by Macmillan Cancer Support.
“She is an amazing lady, who always puts others before herself and is there for everybody else,” said family friend Becky Hicking, 34, who is helping to organise the event. “Even while she was having treatment, she still looked after and supported her foster children, as she has done for more than 30 years.”
Daughter-in-law Danielle, who has set up a JustGiving donations page online, added: “She is such a lovely, kind, caring and thoughtful person. It was awful watching her go through the ups and downs of chemo. She fought so hard despite tiredness, sickness and other side-effects. We are so thankful she is still with us.”
The fundraising morning takes place at 68-year-old Glenys’s home on Nottingham Road on Saturday, September 17. As well as coffee, tea, cakes and good company, it has a health theme, with a yoga session from 10 am, followed by a ‘treatment room’ offering massages and the hands-on healing therapy of reiki. There’s also a bouncy castle for the kids, plus stalls, a tombola and raffle, with prizes donated by local businesses.
Anyone can pop along, and it is hoped to raise hundreds of pounds for the Macmillan charity and possibly even beat the remarkable amount of £1,114 from last year’s inaugural event.
As well as Becky and Danielle, the morning has been arranged by Glenys’s daughters, Serena and Cheryl. And Glenys, who also has two sons, Darren and James, is full of praise for their efforts.
“It’s absolutely fantastic and such a worthwhile cause,” she said. “I still need check-ups every three months but, fingers crossed, I’m going in the right direction now.
“I know lots of people, family and friends, who have had cancer, so we must keep on giving to this charity.
“I would also urge everyone who receives a home bowel-screening kit from the NHS when they reach 60 to use it. We found my bowel cancer from one of the kits, yet a nurse told us that only 40% of people actually use them.
“Bowel screening is not a nice thing to do, but it’s worth it. It certainly saved my life.”